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Interim Health Director Named, Governance Model Discussed

Feb 07, 2018

After a closed session during a special meeting tonight, the Cumberland County Board of Health named Assistant County Manager Duane Holder as interim health director, effective immediately.

Deputy Health Director Rod Jenkins has served as the interim director since July 7 and submitted a request to relinquish the interim designation and return full-time to his duties as deputy director. 

“Mr. Jenkins has done a great job for us and we are appreciative of his service while preforming two jobs,” said Dr. William Philbrick, chairman of the Board of Health.

Following the closed session, Holder provided the board with a short update on Human Services consolidation. During the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners planning retreat on Jan. 26, commissioners directed staff to set up a presentation with the University of North Carolina School of Government to discuss the options and steps for moving forward with changing the Health Department’s governance. 

In 2012, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation that provided counties with new options for how they can organize and govern some local human services agencies, including local health departments and departments of social services.

There are three options available to commissioners in North Carolina. Option 1 would keep the two departments separate with the Board of Commissioners assuming the powers and responsibilities of the Board of Health and/or the Social Services Board.  The commissioners could assume the governance of one department and leave the other as is.

The other two options would be to consolidate the two departments with either the commissioners appointing a separate consolidated human services board or having the County commissioners serve as the board of the consolidated agency.

The School of Government tracked the legislative developments closely, conducted research on the organization and governance of local human services agencies and has provided technical assistance to counties since the law was enacted.

The commissioners have invited members of the Board of Health and the Social Services Board to a presentation by the School of Government about the organization and governance of local public health and other human services agencies. The presentation will take place on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. in Conference Room B at the Department of Social Services.